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  1. Abstract

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses of clade underwent an explosive geographic expansion in 2021 among wild birds and domestic poultry across Asia, Europe, and Africa. By the end of 2021, viruses were detected in North America, signifying further intercontinental spread. Here we show that the western movement of clade was quickly followed by reassortment with viruses circulating in wild birds in North America, resulting in the acquisition of different combinations of ribonucleoprotein genes. These reassortant A(H5N1) viruses are genotypically and phenotypically diverse, with many causing severe disease with dramatic neurologic involvement in mammals. The proclivity of the current A(H5N1) virus lineage to reassort and target the central nervous system warrants concerted planning to combat the spread and evolution of the virus within the continent and to mitigate the impact of a potential influenza pandemic that could originate from similar A(H5N1) reassortants.

  2. Abstract

    Coastal wetlands provide essential ecosystem goods and services but are extremely vulnerable to sea‐level rise, extreme climate, and human activities, especially the coastal wetlands in large river deltas, which are regarded as “natural recorders” of changes in estuarine environments. In addition to the area (loss or gain) and quality (degradation or improvement) of coastal wetlands, the information on coastal wetland structure (e.g., patch size and number) are also major metrics for coastal restoration and biodiversity protection, but remain very limited in China's four major river deltas. In this study, we quantified the spatial–temporal dynamics of total area (TA) and patch number (PN) of coastal wetlands with different sizes in the four deltas and the protected areas (PAs) and assessed the effects of major driving factors during 1984–2020. We also investigated the effectiveness of PAs through the comparison of TA and PN of coastal wetlands before and after the years in which PAs were listed as Ramsar Sites. We found both TA and PN experienced substantial losses in the Liaohe River Delta and Yellow River Delta but recent recoveries in the Yangtze River Delta. The coastal wetlands had a relatively stable and variable trend in TA but had a continually increasingmore »trend in PN in the Pearl River Delta. Furthermore, reduced coastal reclamation, ecological restoration projects, and rapid expansion of invasive plants had great impacts on the coastal wetland structure in various ways. We also found that PAs were effective in halting the decreasing trends in coastal wetland areas and slowing the expansion of reclamation, but the success of PAs is being counteracted by soaring exotic plant invasions. Our findings provide vital information for the government and the public to address increasing challenges of coastal restoration, management, and sustainability in large river deltas.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 18, 2024
  3. Abstract

    The new TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) solar‐induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) data provides new opportunities to corroborate and improve global photosynthesis estimates. Here we report the spatiotemporal consistency between TROPOMI SIF and vegetation indices from the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) adjusted (MCD43) and standard MODIS (MOD09) surface reflectance products, estimates of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation by chlorophyll (APARchl) derived from National Centers for Environmental Prediction Reanalysis‐2 (NCEP2), MODIS MCD18, and European Reanalysis (ERA5) data, and two GPP products (GPPVPMand GPPMOD17). We find (a) non‐adjusted VIs were more highly correlated with SIF at mid and high latitude than BRDF‐adjusted VIs, but were less correlated in the tropics, (b) negligible differences in the correlation between SIF and non‐adjusted NIRv and EVI, but BRDF‐adjusted NIRv had higher correlations with SIF at mid to high latitude than BRDF‐adjusted EVI but lower correlations in the tropics, (c) choice of PAR data set likely to cause substantial differences in global and regional GPP estimates and the correlation between modeled GPP and SIF, (d) SIF was more highly correlated with APARchlat high to mid latitude than EVI but more highly correlated with EVI at lower latitudes, and (e) GPPVPMis more highly correlated with SIF than GPPMOD17,more »except in sub‐Sahara Africa. Our results highlight that spaceborne photosynthesis would likely be improved by using a non‐linear response to PAR and that the fundamental differences between the vegetation indices and PAR data sets are likely to yield important differences in global and regional estimates of photosynthesis.

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  4. Abstract

    Data and knowledge of the spatial-temporal dynamics of surface water area (SWA) and terrestrial water storage (TWS) in China are critical for sustainable management of water resources but remain very limited. Here we report annual maps of surface water bodies in China during 1989–2016 at 30m spatial resolution. We find that SWA decreases in water-poor northern China but increases in water-rich southern China during 1989–2016. Our results also reveal the spatial-temporal divergence and consistency between TWS and SWA during 2002–2016. In North China, extensive and continued losses of TWS, together with small to moderate changes of SWA, indicate long-term water stress in the region. Approximately 569 million people live in those areas with deceasing SWA or TWS trends in 2015. Our data set and the findings from this study could be used to support the government and the public to address increasing challenges of water resources and security in China.

  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  7. Wild waterbirds, and especially wild waterfowl, are considered to be a reservoir for avian influenza viruses, with transmission likely occurring at the agricultural-wildlife interface. In the past few decades, avian influenza has repeatedly emerged in China along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF), where extensive habitat conversion has occurred. Rapid environmental changes in the EAAF, especially distributional changes in rice paddy agriculture, have the potential to affect both the movements of wild migratory birds and the likelihood of spillover at the agricultural-wildlife interface. To begin to understand the potential implications such changes may have on waterfowl and disease transmission risk, we created dynamic Brownian Bridge Movement Models (dBBMM) based on waterfowl telemetry data. We used these dBBMM models to create hypothetical scenarios that would predict likely changes in waterfowl distribution relative to recent changes in rice distribution quantified through remote sensing. Our models examined a range of responses in which increased availability of rice paddies would drive increased use by waterfowl and decreased availability would result in decreased use, predicted from empirical data. Results from our scenarios suggested that in southeast China, relatively small decreases in rice agriculture could lead to dramatic loss of stopover habitat, and in northeast China, increasesmore »in rice paddies should provide new areas that can be used by waterfowl. Finally, we explored the implications of how such scenarios of changing waterfowl distribution may affect the potential for avian influenza transmission. Our results provide advance understanding of changing disease transmission threats by incorporating real-world data that predicts differences in habitat utilization by migratory birds over time.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 23, 2024
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2024